Secrets of a Successful Sales Trainer

When you are going to train your people, there are several things for you to think about before you decide how you’re going to go about it. First, I always start with the end in mind. Why are they not already doing what you want them to? Lack of skill? Attitude? They think they’re already doing what is required. They think that what you’re telling them is not really that important. Are their any reasons why they can’t apply what they have learned?

Whatever the reason is for them not performing, every reason will have a different solution. Maybe it’s attitude. They have been doing this for a long time and think they know better. Then you had better include some experiential exercises so they discover they are not as skilled as they first thought.

Lack of skill is perhaps the easiest one to counter. Although while you can give them skills, you also have to create the attitude so they will want to apply what they have learned. And in my opinion, that happens at the start of the training. The first 20 minutes will dictate whether they will work with you or resist you. You have to connect, you have to be relevant to the challenges they are facing, and they have to feel that you understand and can help. Usually, this involves being very aware of your language. If you use the wrong language, they will instantly reject everything you are trying to train them to do.

My experience would indicate that in most cases, sales training works better as experiential training. In other words, they discover for themselves what they don’t know. This is usually a big surprise to most people as they think they know what they do and say when face to face with a customer. So, telling them to do something different is a waste of everyone’s time.
Shirley McKinnon